Finder’s Fi 20th-cen­tury de­sign inspo

Take in­spi­ra­tion from some of the 20th cen­tury’s most pop­u­lar in­te­rior de­sign move­ments, many of which are still rel­e­vant to­day

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by Fiona Ralph. Il­lus­tra­tion by Eve Kennedy.


If you love op­u­lent in­te­ri­ors, you will ap­pre­ci­ate the Hollywood Re­gency style that was pop­u­lar in the 1930s, dur­ing the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood. In­te­rior de­sign­ers Wil­liam Haines and Dorothy Draper are cred­ited with bring­ing this luxe, glam­orous style of fur­nish­ing to the world via the homes of Hollywood’s big­gest stars. Think bold colour, stripes, flo­rals, pat­terned wall­pa­per, rich tex­tiles and gold, glass, mar­ble and vel­vet ac­cents. This style has evolved through the decades, with as­pects of the look still go­ing strong to­day.


At the heart of the mid-cen­tury mod­ern move­ment (which you’d be hard-pressed not to notice is back in vogue) are sim­ple shapes with an em­pha­sis on func­tion­al­ity. The style, prom­i­nent from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, grew out of early-20th-cen­tury modernism move­ments such as Bauhaus. Fans of this era will want to visit Palm Springs in Cal­i­for­nia, which has the largest con­cen­tra­tion of mid-cen­tury mod­ern homes in the world and hosts Modernism Week ev­ery Feb­ru­ary.


Re­cent ret­ro­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tions and Mem­phisin­spired de­signs have rein­vig­o­rated this 1980s de­sign move­ment. The Mem­phis Group were a col­lec­tive of ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers brought to­gether by ar­chi­tect and de­signer Ettore Sottsass. Zany shapes, bright colours and bold graph­ics were the group’s trade­marks, in a re­ac­tion against the clean lines of modernism. Lam­i­nate and ter­razzo were key ma­te­ri­als used in prod­ucts and fur­nish­ings. Their style in­flu­enced as­pects of 1980s and 1990s de­sign and cre­ated fans out of celebri­ties such as David Bowie.


In stark con­trast to the Mem­phis and Hollywood Re­gency move­ments, min­i­mal­ism hon­ours light and space in an in­te­rior, with a fo­cus on the es­sen­tial fea­tures of a de­sign. Min­i­mal­ism emerged in the late 1960s as a vis­ual arts move­ment, en­joyed a re­nais­sance in the 1990s, and has con­tin­ued to re­main a strong in­flu­ence in in­te­rior de­sign. Min­i­mal­ist artists and de­sign­ers were in­flu­enced by Ja­panese ar­chi­tec­ture and the De Stijl move­ment, with an ethos in­spired by ar­chi­tect Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” phi­los­o­phy.


‘In­dus­trial de­sign’ was a term that came about in the early 20th cen­tury to de­scribe the de­sign of mass-pro­duced con­sumer prod­ucts, but it’s of­ten ap­plied to fur­ni­ture and in­te­ri­ors as well. The style takes in­spi­ra­tion from util­i­tar­ian forms and raw build­ing ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing steel, brick and wood, with func­tional as­pects of a build­ing or prod­uct ex­posed and cel­e­brated. In­dus­trial ar­chi­tec­ture was first seen dur­ing the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion of the late 18th and 19th cen­turies. Many ware­houses and fac­to­ries are now be­ing re­pur­posed into dreamy, lofted homes, stu­dios and busi­nesses.

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